5 Ways Twitter can Monetize without Ads

Posted on January 19, 2009. Filed under: Business, Observations, twitter | Tags: , , , |

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Recently there has been some discussion about Twitter monetization. Its the same conversation that has been going on for the past few months as people become more aware of Twitter. Unfortunately all the conversations seem to come back to the same suggestions, how Ads can be worked into the Twitter stream without annoying Twitter users.

What I would like to see is some new thinking, instead of simply assuming that if its online then it has to be ad based how about coming up with something better.

Here I propose 5 elements that Twitter could incorporate into a Twitter Premium Service that would allow for some monetization without having to resort to Ads at all.

  1. Bio Search. Right now this is extremely hard to achieve and for the most part is fairly hit or miss. It would be a great idea to have a keyword search for the bio section of a Twitter users page. I would definitely see both power users and commercial Twitter users paying a premium to get at this data.
  2. Extended Tweets – yes I know there are 3rd party services that will allow you to do this for free but if you could do it from within Twitter or better yet within your Twitter application through the use of an API Key which would allow TweetDeck or whatever tool you use to recognize that you are allowed to extend your tweets to says 300 characters I think people would pay for that.
  3. Priority Bandwidth – one of the biggest criticisms of Twitter since it first went live has been its flaky servers. So first they would need to fix that, but moving certain accounts to more reliable servers with greater bandwidth would certainly be a premium service that some would be willing to pay for, especially those that micro-blog from events, such as CES etc.
  4. The ability to DM non-followers. Now I know the TwitterVerse, will, for the most part hate me for even suggesting such a thing – after all it opens up Twitter to Spammers even more – but you get spam anyway. Being able to target Twitter users as a result of good search and send them directed messaging is a Marketers delight, and I am sure they would pay for it.
  5. Make the Sign Up Info available to developers of third party applications via the API. Twitter asks for very little information about you when you sign up, and what it does request it keeps to itself.  Making this type of information available to certain developers would allow those tools to become more useful and powerful and allow for better integration between Twitter and other Social Media platforms. For example you cannot currently export your Twitter followers and then import them into say Facebook to see who is also on there.

Well those are my 5 ways Twitter could monetize its Premium service, what are yours?
Image via CrunchBase

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3 Responses to “5 Ways Twitter can Monetize without Ads”

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Hmm. . . When I first got to your blog, I was thinking how people make money using Twitter. Obviously you had a different goal. I’d prefer to see them succeed with ads on the right hand side like Facebook, or Google AdSense on your profile page. Another idea would be to sell the e-mail addresses of Twitterites, we’re already used to getting junk mail there.

Nice post. Bio search has been a dream of mine for a long time. Then I read your post and as usually we were on the same path. Then I got an unexpected email from a very sharp man, we both know, @dacort. I just finished previewing his new app and brings new mean to “bio”.
He has created an app to use keywords to search the bio’s of the people you follow on Twitter. It is simple, the information is up to date, provides the ability to sort by last update or screen name. The app is called TweepSearch. My review link is below:


Thanks for taking the time to create ideas and share with us.

Not sure I like the one about sending DM’s if not following, kinda the point if I am not following you, you should send me tweets in stream.

If I like you then I follow, shazam!

Looking forward to more of your musings.

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